Mixtape: Overlooked 90s indie gems
I recently saw The World’s End, the latest cinematic offering from the team behind Shaun of the Dead. Unfortunately, while the movie was moderately funny, it wasn’t in the same league as that seminal zombie-flick. However, a standout aspect of the film was its soundtrack. A bunch of early 90s classic indie punctuated the action and brought many memories flooding back to those of us who downed pints of snakebite & black to the strains of The Soup Dragons.
Good soundtrack as it was, it was understandably a fairly safe and commercial selection of indie songs. Happy Mondays, Stone Roses etc. It made me consider what my personal soundtrack from the 1990s would sound like. The above mixtape represents tracks and bands from the 90s that aren’t necessarily the most iconic, but ones that deserve recognition nonetheless. For every Wonderwall and Country House, there were a bunch of these lesser-known crackers. Having put this mix together, I’m already thinking about the ones I’ve missed out. Slowdive, New Fads, PWEI, Therapy etc, you guys will have to be in my next mixtape. For now though, here are 15 songs that you might like.
1. Belly – Feed The Tree
Admittedly, this is likely one of the better-known tracks on this compilation, but it’s a belting opener and, considering what a great song it is, should surely still be played everywhere. I never, ever hear it anymore.
2. Bennet – Someone Always Gets There First
Bennet only really made a slight splash for that tune Mum’s Gone to Iceland, but they had a real knack for writing soaring pop like this.
3. Ride – Twisterella
A fine bit of shoegaze.
4. Echobelly – King of The Curb
This is one of their most underrated efforts. Oh, and there are few indie boys who didn’t swoon at the sight of lead-singer Sonya Madan.
5. Blink – Cello
One of the first bands I ever saw live. Apparently they were quite big in Ireland, but I don’t think they made many ripples anywhere else.
6. The Frank and Walters – After All
Widely respected within the indie community. Widely ignored everywhere else.
7. Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine – After The Watershed
My favourite band of all time. I could write an entire article about this song alone. Actually, maybe I will.
8. My Life Story – Twelve Reasons Why I Love Her
Part pop group, part chamber orchestra. This band had about 20 members and was incredible live.
9. Whale – Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe
Swedish weirdos. They did some stuff with Tricky, which was ace too.
10. Lush – De Luxe
Stylish shoegazers on the London scene.
11. The Family Cat – Blood Orange
Never got anywhere near the level of acclaim their music warranted.
12. Emperor of Ice Cream – Know Me
The irony of the chorus “They don’t know me at all,” is all too clear. They had potential. Then they disappeared as swiftly as they arrived.
13. Salad – Diminished Clothes
Interesting lyrics and an amazing frontwoman in Dutch model/MTV presenter, Marijne van der Vlugt.
14. Daisy Chainsaw – Love Your Money
Catchy punk mayhem with fiery female vocals.
15. Where’s Me Jumper? – Sultans of Ping FC
“My brother knows Karl Marx/He met him eating mushrooms in the people’s park.” Silly indie-pop-punk brilliance. Their album, Casual Sex in Cineplex, was magnificent.
Which stonewall classics did I miss? I know there are loads. Tell me in the comments section below.
Words and mixtape by Bobby Townsend.